Friday, February 23, 2024
Immigrant Stories

Meet the Sodhi Family

By Petrina D'Souza, 20 Sep, 2018

    “This country welcomed us and embraced us. Just the thought of leaving everything and moving to a different country is scary but it was not at all scary like we were worried it would be.”

    Paramdeep and Parul Sodhi work at TD Canada Trust Bank as Financial Advisors
    Kabir Sodhi is 13 years old
    In 2013, Paramdeep and Parul Sodhi along with their son Kabir moved to Canada seeking a better future, especially for Kabir. Their first impressions of Canada – “welcoming, clean and peaceful.”
    During the initial days in Canada, the family lived with a friend. “A friend of our friend picked us up from the airport and we stayed with them for a couple of days and then moved into a basement he had looked for us,” says Parul.
    They moved during the summer season which helped them ease into the surroundings and also enjoy the nice weather and the beautiful province of BC. Getting used to the new place took some time. “We had to start from scratch,” explains Parul, “from small things like purchasing household items, to career, admission in a school for our son, understanding rules, and adapting to a new environment.”
    Like most immigrants, their biggest challenge was finding a job in their field. “It was neither easy nor troublesome,” states Paramdeep. Prior to the move, Paramdeep and Parul worked as bankers with about 10-12 years of professional experience. Talking about the job-hunting phase, Parul says, “Finding a job so that you can get the cash flow going to pay your bills and take care of expenses is one thing and getting a job in your field and as per your experience is another. We did make an effort and found jobs to begin with that supported us with our day to day living expenses but had to struggle to find a job in our desired fields.” Today, the couple work as financials advisors at TD Canada Trust Bank.
    Yet the challenges felt nothing compared to Kabir’s joy who was very happy to live in Canada. “He loved the school and was the first one to get adapted to the new country. While we were struggling with the changes and decisions about jobs, his happiness made it easier for us,” expresses Parul.
    There is nothing that the family dislikes about Canada. “This country welcomed us and embraced us. Just the thought of leaving everything and moving to a different country where you don’t know anyone, where you have never been before, and where you have to start afresh that too in your mid-30s is scary but it was not at all scary like we were worried it would be,” says Paramdeep, further adding, “What we like the most here is that every job is respected!”
    The family is very hopeful of a good future here for themselves and especially for their son. “The kind of support system that is in place and with good guidance he will be very successful,” says Parul who describes their overall journey in Canada as awesome. “We are glad that we took this decision.”

    Biggest obstacle faced so far in Canada:

    Buying a house.

    Resolutions made for yourself or family:

    Honestly, to be happy and live every moment.  

    Advice for immigrants:

    Come with a positive mindset and give your 100 per cent. If you put in effort, this country will create a path for you. 

    Memories of your homeland:

    We miss our parents and family.

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    Be prepared to take up any type of work initially to get established in the new country. Take courses through night school to advance one’s choice of skills. I encourage others to volunteer to stay active in mind and body, make connections and continue to learn. Work hard and try not to get discouraged as Canada is a wonderful country and an opportunity to move forward.

    Meet the Kumar family

    It was work that brought Praveen Kumar Vijaykumar and his wife Reshmi Vishwanath to Canada in 2012.

    Meet the Bhan Family

    Like most immigrants, the Bhans faced two major challenges on moving here – dealing with the weather and finding a job.

    Meet the Nair Family

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    It’s been 20 years in Canada for the Nairs and they describe is at being “absolutely wonderful.” Reminiscing on their journey, Domani believes they have come a long way since 1996. “We have no regrets moving here. We were able to sponsor my parents here from Bangalore [now Bengaluru] in 2000 and having them live with us was of great help when our daughters were born.”

    Meet the Chopra Family

    The family’s initial impression on moving to Toronto was unpleasant. The extremely cold weather de-motivated them to explore the city. It was their move to British Columbia a few weeks later that lifted their spirits. “I fell in love with this place immediately. The weather was perfect and this place felt more like home,” Sanjay recalls.

    Meet the Doda family

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    Before moving to Canada, the couple did some research on the country and the opportunities it provides to new immigrants. “My husband worked with US and Canadian clients in India and was aware of the demand of Healthcare IT professionals in North America,” recalls Navjot